Obama’s Refi Initiative: What’s It All About?

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  1. carmen smith

    This appears to be for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.
    Is there anything like this for FHA loans?

  2. Robert Freedman

    Carmen, thanks for your note. For non-Fannie and Freddie loans there are no refinance guidelines from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. As the agency says in its release, “Neither FHFA nor the Enterprises [Fannie and Freddie] have the legal authority to extend HARP to borrowers whose mortgages are not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.” You’ll need to check with lenders on their refi rules for non-federally backed loans.

  3. I think the best program would be if the treasury to take up to 20% of home’s value with a rate of 1% like it gives to the banks and let the banks re-finance the 80% remaining with 4% fixed 30 years. Any under water amount should be forgiven by the lenders since they are the ones who made this mess. People will stay in their homes if they do not owe more than their house worth.

  4. I read somewhere that foreign investors that spend $500,000 on real estate will get a 3 year visa, $250,000 in their own home & the rest in residential real estate. Can you fill me in?
    Much thanks, Bob

  5. Yes! the challenge is a $200K home mortgage, @ 20% off will still be, $160,000 and still upside down in our Pensacola Market and the appraisal will reflect such. 4% works and fixed rate for 30 years makes sense.

    Phil Woolley CRS

  6. Phyllis shapiro

    I have Fannie loan. I have a 30 yr loan at 6.5 % it is fixed at interest only for 10 years does this new program address this issue? will I need to go into or will I be able to choose a fixed loan? this has been an issue when I have attempted a HARP request in the past.

  7. Denise

    This is good news for the homeowner who has been making underwater payments. How does this serve those homeowners who have been current on house those payments but have had to let other obligations suffer to keep their home in turn lowering their credit score thus not allowing them the lower rates.

  8. I think this provides a HUGE opportunity for people in in markets that lost value so quickly and before the current HARP program was launched. In my market of Temecula, Murrieta and the rest of the Inland Empire, we lost 50% of our home value over a 16 month period……long before the 125% HARP was available to them.

    There are thousands of homeowners over 125% LTV who want to stay in their home even if they are upside down…they just want a shot at the same lower rate that everyone else has had up to this point.

    If someone has paid their mortgage on time for the last three years fully aware they are 190% LTV,what are the odds they will default if this new Obama HARP refinance program allows them to reduce the payment by another $200-$300/month?

    However, for those who can’t refinance using this revised HARP program, this may be the straw that breaks the camels back and causes them to strategically default. people don’t like having a carrot dangled out in front of them and never being able to reach it.

  9. Kelley Johnson

    Has anyone addressed an underwater borrower being able to utilize the mortgage interest deduction on their federal income tax return on a loan that exceeds the fair market value of their home? IRS Pub936 states it is not allowed. It seems there could be some implications here. Anyone agree?

  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about FHFA. Regards